The Zimbabwe FA has suspended its vice-president Gift Banda for allegedly reshuffling national team technical team without the board’s consent.
Banda’s suspension comes just a month after he was elected into office, replacing Omega Sibanda.
Allegations against Banda are that he fired Warriors assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa, a decision he is said to have solely made.
The two coaches were replaced by Tonderayi Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu. The development took place while the Zifa president Felton Kamambo was away in Senegal attending the Caf awards last week.
“Honorable Banda illegally and unilaterally without authority of the Board, unconstitutionally usurped the powers of the Executive Committee as enshrined in section 34 (k) of the Zifa Constitution that delegate the sole responsibility of appointing National Team Coaches and other technical staff to the Zifa Executive Committee and not individuals,” read Zifa’s charges against Banda on their website.
“He illegally, unconstitutionally and against the Zifa Rules & regulations (document 2, ‘regulations on the allocation of functions to standing committees Article 2.11') again without authority, usurped powers of the Technical development standing committee whose role is to among other things recommend coaches, instructors and trainers to the Executive Committee thus bringing confusion, disorder and chaos to the smooth administration of our game.
“Honorable Banda willfully misrepresented, lied and misled the public, stakeholders and the world during his press statements that the Zifa Executive Committee made the decision to fire coaches and made new appointments fully knowing that to be untrue thus causing disaffection on the Board, its Councillors, the public, the National Team, Coaches and stakeholders.
"By so doing he brought our game and the Association into disrepute at a time the Association is busy cleansing itself of all ill manners and attempting to attract corporate sponsorship. His utterances were widely circulated in both mainstream and social media and attracted a backlash on the Board on a decision it never reached.
“Honorable Banda caused a publication of a falsehood that the Head Coach of the Zimbabwe Men Senior National Team Sunday Chidzambga was the architect or agreed to change his backroom staff when he knew this was entirely false as the Coach was happy to work with his team without any changes.
“He abrogated himself the powers he does not have by appointing support staff to national teams in breach of Article 34 (a) of the Zifa constitution.
“In light of these very serious breaches, the Zifa Executive Board has after a robust and extensive debate on the matter arrived at the decision of suspending/banning Honourable Gift Banda from all football related activities and his current position in the executive Committee with immediate effect.”
The changes announced by Banda were received with widespread condemnation in Zimbabwe as having the potential to destabilise the team which is just a point away from qualifying for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Banda’s suspension could be ratified at the Zifa Congress slated for March.